So we saw Fireproof the other day, if you are not familiar with the movie it stars Kirk Cameron as a captain of a fire station dealing with his marriage that is falling apart. Overall I think it was a great story and I did enjoy watching it, my issue with it and many other aspects of Christian media is the fact that it appeared low budget.
Now when I look objectively…It was low budget, especially compared to most mainstream movies. Now it had funny moments, some intense and even heartfelt moments but there was low quality acting at times and awkward editing that make you think “that was an odd transition to the next scene.” Like a TV show with commercials removed. Now from what I understand the movie made a killing at the box office, especially compared to the production cost, and hopefully that money can be put towards the next film to bring up the quality as I think they did from Facing The Giants to Fireproof.
So where am I going with all of this? It is my concern that most Christian media (which I admit has taken steps to get better over the past decade) still comes across as a cheap copy of mainstream (secular) media. If that continues to be the case will these companies succeed?
A main aspect of these companies is the purpose of sharing the gospel, but if the quality is not there you will rarely capture the interest of people that are not already Christians. It’s ok to “feed the flock” but are you introducing it to non believers as probably intended? I doubt it. (Warning lame example coming) It is like showing Rocky to an Italian boxer from Philly, you will get him pumped up about it, but he is “already there”, what change will there be? None. (Told you it would be lame, but it popped in my head.)
The same with music, how often do you hear “It is a Christian version of insert artist name here“. I admit this happens in the secular world also, when grunge hit all of a sudden if you played an instrument and lived in Seattle you got a record deal. But again, many Christians still find it hard to listen to Christian music because often they are not starting a trend they are a year or two after the trend and are a imitation of someone else. I like having uplifting music that I don’t need to worry about with the kids but let the artists stand on their own not the coat tails of a mainstream act.
This is actually happening in the worship realm also, I can’t tell you how many times I listen to samples of new music just to find they did a bunch of remakes from one of the Passion bands or something like that, where is the creativity and originality. There are some standouts from that such as Lee McDerment, Fee and some others but I think most would agree with me.
I realize the Christian media companies do not have the money that the big corporations do and that does play a role in the budget issues but it still does not take away the issue of overcoming the thought of Christian media being 2nd rate.
Unfortunately this crosses over to church also. Some people complain that newer church services are irreverant and just entertain. That may be true at some churches, but most have the attitude of would you rather be entertained or bored and as long as the message is clear and not watered down it should be entertaining, after all couldn’t shouldn’t it be said that God gave us the creativity to make church the most exciting place to be any day of the week? What are your thoughts?